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  • Founder of Athletes Authority
  • Marketing Maverick
  • Business Strategist
  • Newsletter Publisher

The (not so) secret strategy behind Apple

Just about every business goo-roo online will give you advice on how to gain new customers.

“More leads.”

“More sales.”

“More customers.”

But how many make retention an emphasis?

Very few… and that’s probably because keeping customers is nowhere near as sexy as gaining customers.

Interestingly, the best businesses in the world put retention as a higher-order priority over acquisition…

And Apple is the king of it.

I’ve only bought a non-Apple product once since I was 18.

It was a Sony phone… and it sucked.

I felt so out of place with my Sony that it only took me six months to walk back into Apple with my hands outstretched like Oliver Twist:

“Can I have an iPhone, please?”

Have you ever wondered why Apple puts retention way above acquisition?

Once you see the numbers, it just makes sense:

It costs 5-25x times less to keep a customer, than it costs to gain a new one.

In my case, it costs Apple exactly $0 to keep me as a loyal customer. 

But to convert a diehard Android user? A tonne of money would have to go into sub-conscious, un-conscious, and conscious marketing to get a PC guy across the line (the only thing more diehard than Apple users are PC users).

See what’s going on here?

The chances are, though, we’re approaching this in our own business the opposite way.

We’re putting 5-25x less effort into keeping our customers, than trying to gain new ones.

Bit arse-backwards if you ask me (and I say so from experience of making the same mistake).

One of the best ways of getting retention back on the scorecard and putting it in focus is with automation.

And there are heaps of easy ways to leverage it, too. Like:

1. Using automation to ensure onboarding is thorough and personalised so you don’t have hiccups that leave a bitter taste in the customer’s mouth.

2. Using automation ensures you follow through on your brand promises and do what you say you’ll do. No trust? No retention.

3. Using automation to implement customer feedback loops, like the Net Promoter Score, which is widely accepted as the ultimate question to gauge customer satisfaction (if you’re interested, the creator of NPS Fred Reichheld, has a book on the topic).

4. Using automation to roll out a ‘continued education program for onboarded clients’. This ensures your customers continue to understand and believe everything required to continue to see the need for your service.

5. Using automation to capitalise on social proof  by broadcasting your success stories to your current client base on a regular cadence.

6. Using automation to leverage reciprocity. When a client has a win, associate that win with your product by asking for a Google review.
 Easy enough to do, rarely capitalised on.

7. Using automation to leverage referrals because a referring customer is a customer that has the highest personal satisfaction with you. That way, you get the best of both worlds.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it certainly gives you a taste of how automation can save you tens of thousands of dollars in marketing costs by not having to pay for acquisition.

Because, after all, a customer saved is a customer gained.

– Karl Goodman

Don’t Stop Here

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Lachlan Wilmot



  • Bachelors of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Honors in Rate of Force Development in Team Sport Athletes

Lachlan began his professional sports coaching career as the second ever employee at the GWS Giants in 2010-11 season prior to entering the AFL in 2012. Over 7 seasons, Lachlan grew a team of talented young men into back-to-back preliminary finals contenders. As the head of strength and power, his role was to turn teenagers into physically dominant men, developing their strength, power, speed and most importantly, their resistance to injury.

In 2018, Lachlan’s success afforded him the opportunity to shift codes, having been offered the role of High Performance Manager for the NRL’s Parramatta Eels.

In as little as one rebuild season, he had taken the wooden spooners of 2018 to the finals in 2019, where they inflicted the greatest defeat of the Brisbane Broncos in NRL history. By 2019, it was time for Lachlan to go ‘all-in’ on his other baby, Athletes Authority.

Now, Lachlan leads the performance program, designing the programs for all the athletes here. He works closely with the sports medicine team, just like he did in pro sport, to help athletes achieve more and reach new heights with their athletic careers.

Karl Goodman


Karl began his career in coaching as a Personal Trainer back in 2007. After competing for NSW as a Baseballer, and then competing at an elite standard as a cyclist throughout university,  Karl received the opportunity to work with Gordon Rugby in the Shute Shield competition. From there, he found a way to marry his passion in sports and competition with coaching; selling his investment property to start Athletes Authority in early 2016.

Starting from humble beginnings, the facility vision was taken to another level when Lachlan and Karl partnered up in 2017 and Athletes Authority was incorporated. It was no longer just a gym training athletes; Athletes Authority was committed to becoming a brand athletes worldwide could rely on for quality coaching, advice and service.